Not to be missed

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This take from the Dick Nixon Twitter feed is so great.

New Berkshire Hathaway annual letter

New Berkshire Hathaway annual letter is out.  I love to read this thing every year.  If Warren Buffett weren’t busy running a 362 billion dollar company he would be a very talented business writer.

He’s funny, compelling, a calm and sunny optimist, and thoughtful about dimensions beyond the monetary, one of the great American characters alive.  Here are some highlights if you are too busy to read:

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Some common sense social policy:

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About rail cars:

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A brief history of auto insurance in the United States:

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Advice:FullSizeRender (56)

A non-apology for GEICO advertising:

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Discussion of the realities of economic change on people’s lives:

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Here is the scariest part, a warning about cyber, biological, nuclear or chemical attack on the USA:

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Damn I hope I have the time to make it to the annual meeting:FullSizeRender (58)

If I make it to Omaha I would like to challenge Ariel Hsing at table tennis:FullSizeRender (59)

We’re not gonna be the dummies anymore, folks

At the beginning you hear the response part of the call and response to “Who’s gonna built that wall?”  “MEXICO!”  Then:

Here a protestor (you can see him in the aisle to Trump’s right, holding a sign that says “VETERANS TO MR. TRUMP END HATE SPEECH AGAINST MUSLIMS” and he leaves peacefully:

and this is right after a protestor was led out by police:

The aftermath:


How To Debate Donald Trump

They think we’re kidding too, don’t they folks?  We’re not kidding.  We’re not kidding.

-Donald J. Trump

That’s more or less exactly what I wondered.  Is this guy kidding?  Are the people who are voting for him kidding?  I wanted to go to a rally and see what this was all about.  A pal is a reporter on the campaign and encouraged me to see it for myself, saying, basically, you won’t believe it.  

Best chance to do it from the West Coast would be in Las Vegas, on Monday before the Nevada primary.  Poking around on the Trump website I saw a form to apply for media credentials.  So I did that.  All they asked really is what outlet I worked for —  Great Debates News.

The rest of this post will be going out shortly to Helytimes Premium and Great Debates News subscribers.  Subscribe to Great Debates News here.   Subscribe to Helytimes Premium by emailing me.  

Helytimes Premium subscribers: sorry for the typo, can you imagine my embarrassment?  Sentence should read: “admiring what Ann Friedman and Ryan Holiday were doing with their newsletters.”

How to pronounce Broad


If you are on Instagram in LA you have seen probably six hundred pictures of The Broad art museum downtown.

inside broad

How did Broad get so rich?  “Moving money around,” was my guess. Part right: he started a homebuilding company, KB Home, and then when that was up and going he started another company, SunAmerica, for retirement savings / mutual funds.  Learning this from the man’s book:


which also gives a final answer on how to pronounce the name:

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To summarize: everybody has to say it weird because he didn’t like getting teased as a boy.

(photos of the Broad yanked right off LA Curbed)

When did JFK’s soul go to Heaven?

Doing some research for a Kennedy-related project, came across this interview with Father Oscar Huber, Dallas priest who ended up giving JFK last rites:

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Sounds like he was all good!

I’ve spent hours and hours combing the JFK Oral Histories at the Kennedy Library website, and the best thing I’ve found is this one, from Massachusetts Democratic operative and Harvard prof Samuel Beer, interviewed long after the fact.  Here he’s talking about Adlai Stevenson and Kennedy’s lady game:




Best things about this video

  • fave activity is “to take a little nap”
  • “she’s a jokester”
  • around 2:46 the woman describing her like she’s a zoo animal.  “It was a new experience for her.  She was scared, honestly, but she acclimated very quickly.”

ht: Davis.

Death Valley Days


Death Valley Days ran for 18 seasons and 452 (!) episodes.

You can’t top Death Valley for place names.  Just reading the map is a pleasure.


But hey, the map is not the territory.  So the boys and I went out to have a look:


Things aren’t what they used to be in old Chloride City:


IMG_2409  IMG_2431

Just as well I didn’t know what these mountains were called.

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On to Titus Canyon:


Rendezvous in the twilight:  IMG_2457  IMG_2452


Morning at camp:  IMG_2486

Ever since I heard about the sailing stones I’ve wanted to see the Racetrack:

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Not the easiest trip.


Let’s go have a look:


Bobby will do whatever it takes to get the shot:

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These guys have a long walk ahead:


Keep going lil buddy!:


(is there anything so human as “rooting” for a rock in its meaningless decades-long journey across a dry lake bed?)

How about the crater?:



“Let’s drive down the old Lippincott Mine road!”

IMG_2763  IMG_2647  IMG_2657



Shoutout to the rad Tom Harrison map of Death Valley.

Stirring clip from Death Valley Days:




IMG_2750Kunkush the cat reunited with Iraqi refugee family


so says The Guardian.



Into the aesthetic


at Long Valley, California’s Arcularius Ranch.

Sounds bad

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from Gothamist

Should you buy Twitter? Plus: Advice to Jack Dorsey

twitter bird

I’ve noticed that writing about investing is very popular on the Internet so I’m gonna try it.  

This post is about Twitter (TWTR).  At the moment: the stock is priced at 15.88, I don’t own it.

Twitter is one of my favorite products in the world.  If I’m being real, I probably spend minimum an hour a day looking at Twitter.

Lots of people hate it — my Great Debates colleague Dan Medina, for instance, claims to find it unusable.  Yet there he is:

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and he’s fascinated by it.

How can you not be?  Here are entertainers, comedians, athletes, famous people of all kinds, plus millions of strong-opinioned randos, bots, sex bots, ordinary citizens, kids, organizations, Vine people, all gabbing away at some fantastically weird party / school assembly gone mad.

On the one hand maybe Twitter is a negative in my life, because I read fewer books.  On the other hand, while I’ve been putting off reading William Gibson’s books, I’ve been enjoying his Twitter feed:

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Little Esther tells me Twitter is for losers, but her feed is hilarious:

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Twitter is a fiendishly perfect invention for distracting comedians because so many of them

  1. Crave instant feedback/laughs
  2. Are desperate for connection
  3. Are bored
  4. Are traveling / waiting around for something
  5. Are video game addicts

If anything, the biggest problem I have a user of Twitter is how much stuff there is I want to look at, and how to sift it out from all the garbage.

I’ve solved that problem more or less to my satisfaction by making private lists.  The second biggest problem might be the jarring combos of information:


but maybe that’s a feature, not a bug.

For all this entertainment, hours and hours of it, Twitter charges me…

NOTHING?!  Zero dollars?

That is ridiculous.

I mean, I guess sometimes I have to look at ads.  But I gotta tell ya, these ads don’t tend to get in the way.  Often they are wack enough to be part of the fun:


(What?  The Embassy of Poland wants to brag to me, specifically, about its military expenditures?)

What kind of wonderful company is this, that gives me entertainment, information and amusement for free?!

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Should I get in on?

When a product becomes a part of your life, you have to ask yourself if maybe you should go ahead and own part of the company by buying shares in it.

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What I know about investing is cobbled together from skimming and half-reading investment books, blogs and articles (and Twitter) plus mistakes plus talking to people.

First, big believer in the Peter Lynch method.

Boston, MA-2/9/05- Peter Lynch of Fidelity Investments.(Story/Paulson) Library Tag 02272005 Business & Money

Peter Lynch of Fidelity Investments.(Story/Paulson)

Peter Lynch was a wealthy Bostonian of my youth who got his start caddying for the president of Fidelity Investments, became an intern there, and rose up to manage Fidelity’s Magellan fund:

From 1977 until 1990, the Magellan fund averaged a 29.2% return and as of 2003 had the best 20-year return of any mutual fund ever.

and also wrote some bestselling investment guides:

Beat the Street

which I haven’t read.  But which Wikipedia helpfully summarizes:

His most famous investment principle is simply, “Invest in what you know,” popularizing the economic concept of “local knowledge“. Since most people tend to become expert in certain fields, applying this basic “invest in what you know” principle helps individual investors find good undervalued stocks.

Lynch uses this principle as a starting point for investors. He has also often said that the individual investor is more capable of making money from stocks than a fund manager, because they are able to spot good investments in their day-to-day lives before Wall Street. Throughout his two classic investment primers, he has outlined many of the investments he found when not in his office – he found them when he was out with his family, driving around or making a purchase at the mall. Lynch believes the individual investor is able to do this, too.

OK, great.

I would say I’m not an expert but I’m pretty serious about:

  • comedy

Twitter is a great way to get comedy in quick, easy form.  Every comedian I know is on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.27.54 PMScreen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.25.09 PM

  • written entertainment

Not every writer is on Twitter but a lot of them are, and there’s neat writing on Twitter every day.

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  • news/information/infotainment.

from this I’ve had my biggest insight of all: journalists are obsessed with Twitter.  They give better, faster, more interesting news directly to their Twitter feeds.

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Plus, the news makers and influencers are themselves talking directly to the Twitter user:

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That’s how I identified Twitter as a possible opportunity.  Now let’s run it through a rigorous Lynchian checklist.

Do you use it yourself?

Yes, so much so that I have to impose rules on myself that I then break.

Do people you know use it?

Oh God they’re obsessed.

Does it seem like a good product?

Well, I dunno.  For instance I have no idea how or if they make money.

That brings us to the next level.

Buffet analysis.


Everybody knows billionaire investor and Omaha cheapskate Warren Buffett, he is one of the great American characters.

You might also know his partner and former WWII Army Air Corps meteorologist Charlie Munger:

Charlie Munger

A good intro to some of Munger’s ideas can be found here on the blog of Tren Griffin, who rounds up a lot of wisdom.

Buffett and Munger’s insights are many and not easy to summarize, but a crudely simplified version in three quotes might be:


Buy into a company because you want to own it, not because you want the stock to go up.


I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years.

(that quote I can’t 100% track down to the source but it appears legit). 

and 3:

Never invest in a business you cannot understand.

Buffett is a value investor.  He asks, is the business valuable?  For instance, a railroad.


Only a few companies control all the railroad track in North America:


and they’re not building more.  People continue to ship things on railroad.  Warren Buffett decided that he understood railroads I guess, because he bought one.

Presumably before he did that, though, he ran BNSF through the third level of investment analysis, which is the level of numbers.

This is the level that is so boring.  You almost can’t believe it.

Try, for instance, to read the wikipedia page on valuation (finance) and if your eyeballs don’t turn to mush maybe investment banking is for you.

For me, I can only handle the very basics.  There’s P/E (price of the stock to earnings), for instance.  Should be simple enough:

Theoretically, a stock’s P/E tells us how much investors are willing to pay per dollar of earnings. For this reason it’s also called the “multiple” of a stock. In other words, a P/E ratio of 20 suggests that investors in the stock are willing to pay $20 for every $1 of earnings that the company generates. However, this is a far too simplistic way of viewing the P/E because it fails to take into account the company’s growth prospects.

So says investopedia.  Ugh, everything is always far too simplistic with these guys.

Let’s take it down to basics.

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OK, I can do this.

EBITDA is earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.  A measure, right, of how much money the company is making.

Twitter’s is negative two hundred and eight million dollars.

Coca-Cola, by comparison, is $124 million.

Amazon’s is $7.8 billion.

Netflix’s is $368.1 million.

Chipotle’s is $908 million.

How about profit margin, that seems simple.

Coca-Cola: 2.7%

Amazon: .56%

Netflix: 1.81%

Chipotle: 10.57%

Twitter: -27.99%

OK, so let us answer the key question:

  • How much money is Twitter making?

Negative a lot?

  • How is that possible?

Well, I took to the Internet.  Here are some things I learned:

  • Twitter makes huge amounts of revenue, but not a profit.

From this week’s earnings call, we learned that Twitter’s revenue in the fourth quarter totaled $710 million, up 48 percent year-over-year.

Most of that money ($641 million) comes from ad sales, with the rest ($69 million?) coming I guess from data sales.  Although apparently Twitter has somehow screwed up selling that up — last year it made $147 million from data sales before they shut off their data “fire hose.”

I ran all this by my colleague Anonymous Investor.  Here’s what he has to say:

Let’s say you owned a pizza shop. In 2015 you sell a million dollars worth of pizza (or said another way, you made a million dollars in revenue). At first glance, that might seem good. But if your food, labor and rent costs add up 1.3 million, you would have ended up losing money for the year.   (a $300,000 loss for 2015).

Likewise, Twitter sold 2 billion dollars worth of stuff (mostly advertising sales).  But they spent around 2.5 billion dollars doing it.  I haven’t dug deep into it, but lots of their costs seem like wasteful spending — such as 778 million on research and development, which seems ridiculous for a company that’s basically not much more than a slightly-advanced message board.

Seems the company could be profitable if google or someone else bought it.  They could slash costs and make some profit off that revenue.
Hmm.  One of the big problems is:
  • Twitter wastes lots of money.

How much does it cost to run Twitter?  I honestly have no idea, but the brilliant thing about the business is that the users are doing the hard work of generating the content.  All Twitter should have to do is run the servers and so on, right?

In looking into it, I found that Twitter spends an insane amount of money on research and development.  This is from a 2013 Fortune article:

According to its IPO document, in the third quarter of the year, Twitter shelled out nearly $90 million on R&D. That was equal to more than half, 52%, of the company’s revenue in the same period. It is Twitter’s largest cost, nearly 50% more than it spent on marketing. And it’s far more than most of its rivals spend. Facebook, for instance, spent just 14% of its revenue on R&D in the the quarter right before it went public. It has since ramped up that spending to 26%. But Facebook FB 0.10% makes money, unlike Twitter.

Google spends just 15% of revenue on R&D. And Google is working on a self-driving car, high-tech glasses and, maybe, space elevators.

There is no sign that Twitter is working on anything that cool. Twitter actually gives very little detail about what it spends its R&D budget on in the offering documents for its IPO. It says that R&D expenses are to “improve our products and services.” And it doesn’t appear that Twitter is building some kind of high-tech lab or supercomputer. In fact, the bulk of Twitter’s R&D expenses go toward personnel-related expenses. And a good portion of that expense, about a quarter, was the cost of handing out stock options.

Twitter doesn’t say how many employees work in its R&D groups. The company has a total of 2,300 employees. That would be $104,000 per employee if all of its employees were in R&D, which they are not.

That sounds crazy.  And it seems like the problem has not been solved.  Take a look at this:

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Again, I am no expert, the whole point of writing this is to educate myself, but Twitter is spending $800 million dollars on research & development?!  WTF?  To research and develop what?!

Your job is to bring me this shit as simply as possible:

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And you don’t even do a good job of that!

Much of that money, apparently, is stock distribution.

  • Twitter’s employee stock distribution system is screwy.

So I learn from this Quora post.  I don’t entirely understand this.  Neither do the folks at Vox I guess, who proclaim:

At the same time, depending on how you count Twitter employees’ stock options, the company is either still continuing to lose money or only modestly profitable.

That murkiness definitely makes me uneasy.

Is this an accounting anomaly that’s falsely inflating how much money Twitter is spending?

Or is Twitter like giving away too much of itself to its employees?

  • Twitter is not gaining users

That seems to be what’s making “Wall Street” so mad, since when they bought into it at its IPO with a valuation of $30 billion dollars they were assuming it would be the next Facebook or whatever.  Not happening.

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As far as I can tell at least some significant percentage of Twitter users are bots anyway.  If some of your users are artificial sex picture machines, and you’re still losing users?

  • Twitter has untapped revenue potential?

So says this bullish article:

According to Twitter, there are 500 million people who consume Twitter that don’t actively use Twitter, or have accounts. These people see tweets on websites, mobile apps, in articles, or in Google search among other places. After much debate, and criticism about how Twitter can convert those users to the platform, Dorsey made the decision to begin showing promoted tweets to its logged out userbase of 500 million, rather than wasting money trying to convert those consumers to users.

I don’t really understand this.  Does it mean you’re gonna get users back to Twitter?  Doubt it.  We’ll watch the test case of our colleague Dan Medina, but in my experience people don’t come back to social media apps they left.

  • This guy has a terrible idea.  Or is it genius?

To let everybody pay to push up their Tweets.  Users eat it.

The title of his article is:

How Twitter could be 10X bigger, 100X more profitable, and 1000X more awesome

and I have to say this is a case of what we might call Bro Exaggeration.

  • What about the exact opposite?

Twitter pays you if your tweets get 2,500 RTS.  Celebrities excluded, can only win a few times, scams will have to be dodged etc., but: essentially Twitter becomes a joke casino where anyone can play.  Americans love casinos.  Casino owners do not go broke but they sometimes get murdered I guess.

OK so those are the things I know

Can I pass any of Buffett’s tests?

Do I want to own Twitter as a business, not just as a stock?

Not if it costs ten billion dollars, no, which is market cap as of this writing.

If the stock market shut down for five years tomorrow, would Twitter emerge well?

Ehhhhhh…. yes I think so but not worth ten billion dollars or its five year equivalent.

Do you understand the business?

Not really.  It is a simple mobile entertainment company where the content is generated for free but somehow it costs TWO billion dollars a year to run it?  Where all the ads are like garbage and increasingly young people tell me it is for losers?

I don’t understand that.

I kind of do understand it like the world’s news feed and it’s free.  Something like an AP wire that anyone can post on, that (mostly) sorts itself out but has as it’s biggest problem filtering, a problem it has to solve fast or it will be replaced like MySpace by something nimbler and cooler that doesn’t cost two billion dollars to run.

It all comes down to the final piece of the Hely Investment Method: look at a photo of the CEO.


Does he look like he knows what he’s doing?  Would you trust this man with your money?

Hrmm.  I dunno.  How can you tell with these tech guys?

Maybe Jack Dorsey will:

  • figure out innovations that draw new users to Twitter without antagonizing the existing users
  • find deep new trenches of revenue
  • cut operating expenses

and Twitter will be an amazingly valuable company.  OR, maybe he will

  • appear or come close enough to doing that so the stock price goes way up.

Very possible.

Another possibility is

  • they go too far and drive off the users they do have.

Jack Dorsey, knowing he has to do something, uses his neuro-atypical brain to change interfaces in ways that actual humans hate.  No new users join, Wall Street freaks out.  The company stock plummets.  Maybe some giant buys it out of perverse experimentation or nostalgia or valuation of scrap parts at some lower level.

One thing I can almost guarantee:

  • Twitter will not grow in new user gain numbers

New people are not lining up to join Twitter.  Everyone in the world has had a chance to try it out.

What I would suggest to Jack Dorsey?:


Some huge number of people are insane devotees of your site as is.

Let them keep entertaining and informing themselves with it.

Change nothing.  You won’t gain any new users, but you won’t lose any either.  In the meantime, you can figure out how to sort out operating expenses and improve advertising.

Wall Street investment banks overvalued the company because they were in a hysteria about tech and had no idea how to value a company that had nothing but enormous user growth, so they overvalued it.  Now the user growth has stopped and they are panicking.  But it’s fine.  Maybe Twitter isn’t worth $10 billion / $15 a share, but it is worth something.

At this price I would suggest do not buy Twitter.  Marc Cuban agrees with me, here’s what he said to CNBC on Feb. 11 (funny how their transcripts are in all caps):



If you believe him, and I guess I do, somebody will buy Twitter soon.

So, there’s some stock price point at which that news will come out, and then the stock will go up some (probably).  So if you want to gamble on that exact moment you can make money.

Seems like a sucker’s game to me, but if you love gambling it’s probably fun.  Says Anonymous Investor:

Despite the fact that the company can’t make any profit, the stock is still selling for a high price.  It’s selling for 5 times its revenue. That’s higher than average.  The high valuation means that investors have the belief that in the future some of those revenues can be converted into profit.  And other investors might have the belief that twitter could be bought out by another company for a market cap north of 10 billion dollars (or to be more accurate: north of around 8 billion, since Twitter holds about 2 billion in net cash).
It’s all a matter of opinion.  To me, both assumptions have a pretty high risk of not happening. So in order for me personally to buy Twitter, I’d need to be compensated for that risk with a lower price.
I’m staying out of this one.

Did you know Jack Dorsey has a whole other company he’s CEO of?

Wait what?  You’re telling me he’s working at most half time on fixing Twitter?

Yes he’s also busy being CEO of Square, the credit card payment company that might be hugely profitable or might be about to collapse?

Haha this guy.  How does he explain that?

He says it’s easy with his “theme day” system:

The way I found that works for me is I theme my days. On Monday, at both companies, I focus on management and running the company…Tuesday is focused on product. Wednesday is focused on marketing and communications and growth. Thursday is focused on developers and partnerships. Friday is focused on the company and the culture and recruiting. Saturday I take off, I hike. Sunday is reflection, feedback, strategy, and getting ready for the week.

HAHA amazing.  This guy.



Did not know this is like a DC semi-slur/term for dummy? via NY Mag via cuz.

By the time Costa got fired for using it, ’Bama had been around for quite some time, and its meaning and use had changed. Most likely, the word was first used to put down recent arrivals to D.C.’s black neighborhoods from southern states—especially Alabama, says cultural anthropologist and long time Smithsonian staffer John Franklin. “It’s had currency over several generations,” Franklin says. It was a way of calling someone a black hick: “There was some disdain for people who didn’t live in the city and weren’t sophisticated.” The word had particular weight during the Great Migration, when many African Americans left the rural South for northern cities. Then, the point was to differentiate the newer arrivals from the longtime Washingtonians—who worried that the countrified Southerners flooding the District would reflect badly on the whole community. It was, essentially, the way D.C.’s black residents called one of their own a redneck. (Around the same time, German Jews who had already been in the U.S. for a few decades coined their own slang term to put down their less sophisticated Russian and Polish cousins—and thus, “kike” was born, only becoming a generalized ethnic slur afterwards.)

Eventually, ’Bama lost most of the geographic connotations it once had, and melted into just another piece of regional slang. Even white kids like Costa learned what it meant, picking it up by osmosis from the culture around them. Costa says his own definition of ’Bama is that it refers to a person who is “stupid.” He spent most of his life in the Baltimore-Washington area, and says he and his friends grew up using “the B-word” all the time.


Twerps vs. Bullies

Really crazy how schoolyard this is:

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Have become strangely absorbed with rooting for Jeb to stand up to his bully.


Control Your APE

Reader Kayla in Colorado writes,

Enjoyed your take on Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll last year.  Would love your read on this year’s Super Bowl vis a vis coaches (Kubiak vs. Rivera)

Thanks for writing Kayla!  As should be noted, I don’t know much about football but I’m interested in coaches and coaching philosophies.  So let’s take a look at Super Bowl Fifty: The Coaches.

In this year’s Super Bowl L, we have Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers:

Ron Rivera

Photo Credit: Reginald RogersParaglide Carolina Panther head coach Ron Rivera, left, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Carolina Panthers player Mike Rucker sign autographs and photos for Soldiers at the 1st Brigade Combat Team dining facility Friday during their visit to the post.

against the Broncos’ Gary Kubiak:

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 29: Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak wasn't happy when the team had to call a timeout on defense in the second quarter of the preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Thursday, September 3, 2015. (Photo by Steve Nehf/The Denver Post)

DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Denver Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak wasn’t happy when the team had to call a timeout on defense in the second quarter of the preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Thursday, September 3, 2015. (Photo by Steve Nehf/The Denver Post)

Neither of them has written a book, nor have their personal philosophies been as parsed and examined as those of Belichick and Carroll.  Still, from what we have available let’s take a look.

Ron Rivera was born on Fort Ord, right here in California, and he went to Seaside High in Monterey.

Fort Ord

Fort Ord

Fort Ord

His dad was a Puerto Rican born Army officer and his mom is Mexican.  He’s not the first Hispanic head coach in the Super Bowl, though – that honor goes to Tom Flores of the Raiders:

Every week during team meetings, the 56-year-old Rivera chooses one pivotal play from the previous week’s game and plays the Spanish broadcast version for his players. Most don’t have a clue what the broadcasters are screaming about, but they holler in delight upon hearing the call.

So says this article in Citizen-Times.  Everyone seems to agree Rivera is a decent, focused dude.

“On one side I’m getting a strong and deep sense of family, tradition and culture,” he says. “On the other side I’m getting this discipline and pride that you get growing up and living on Army bases.”

He won a Super Bowl himself with the ’85 Bears, a game I myself watched with disappointment during, if I remember right, a snowstorm.

He could’ve been in the famous “Super Bowl Shuffle” video but missed his chance:

Rivera could have been a part of the video, and gone down in music video (and YouTube) history, but he chose to sleep in instead.
“Half the team showed up for it,” Rivera said. “Half stayed home and slept because it was a Monday night game. We didn’t get home until 4:30-5 o’clock in the morning.”
So says Fox 46 in Charlotte.  Here’s the closest thing I can find to a coaching philosophy for Rivera, from this article on Fox News Latino:
Pulling up his weekly presentations to the team, Rivera showed me how every one of them starts with a slide that says “Control Your A.P.E – Attitude, Preparation, Effort.” This emphasis on self-empowerment and responsibility has created a team culture of positive attitude, intense preparation and maximum effort.

On to Denver:

Gary Kubiak:

Amazingly, Gary Kubiak seems even less interesting.  He once had a Transient Ischemic Attack on the field during a game:
It’s only his first year as Broncos head coach — the last time he was head coach, of the Texans in 2013, he was fired in mid-season.
Maybe the most interesting angle to look at Gary Kubiak psychologically is that for most of his career, he was John Elway’s backup:
Gary Kub with Elway

Photo by Eric Lars Bakke, AP

That’s the perspective behind this article, “Gary Kubiak and the Tao Of the Backup Quarterback” by Footbyballs over on SI’s The Cauldron.

As a backup Kubiak was on the sidelines for three Super Bowl losses.  (He also won three as an assistant coach for the Broncos and 49ers).  Elway as GM/EVP of the Broncos is still Kubiak’s boss.

Says Footyballs:

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Gary Kubiak is a Broncos’ franchise cornerstone. He played out his quarterback career. He did his job, stayed ready, and waited. Now, it’s his team to lead. The Broncos are doing just fine with the professional backup in charge, uneven seas and all. Maybe he’ll have a third career, as a writer, in which he gathers all his accumulated wisdom into a book of sorts. He could call it “Precepts of the Tao of the Backup Quarterback.”

I would definitely read that.

The more dynamic coach on the Broncos might be defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, himself a former head coach


and the son of NFL coach Bum Phillips:

Bud Phillips

can’t find source

whose Quotes section on his wiki page is worth a look:

  • (20 years after playing Pittsburgh six times in two seasons) “Don’t take long to spend all the time you want in Pittsburgh.”[7]
  • (referring to Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula) “He can take his’n and beat your’n and take your’n and beat his’n.”[8] He also said the same line about Bear Bryant.[9]
  • (referring to Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon) “That boy could throw a football through a car wash and not get it wet.”
  • (when asked about Oilers RB Earl Campbell’s inability to finish a one-mile run in training camp) “When it’s first and a mile, I won’t give it to him.”
  • (when asked by Bob Costas why he took his wife on all of the Oilers’ road trips) “Because she’s too ugly to kiss goodbye.”[10]

Here’s a little trivia coworker Zack calls to my attention: who did both Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak replace when they took over their current job?


NFL coaches play nice with 326th AS crew

John Fox

All things considered, this doesn’t seem like nearly the coaching duel of last year.

I give the psychological edge here to Rivera, and predict based on my patented Coaching Analysis System the Panthers will defeat the Broncos (and cover the six point spread).

As you can see here, my system has me at 1/3 total, but 1/1 on Super Bowls.

X factor: very possible the NFL rigs the game so Peyton wins.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks to Tyler Cowen

Great interview.  Kareem talks about how his love of Sherlock Holmes made him a better basketball player:

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.02.41 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.02.47 AMAbout that action scene above:

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.05.35 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.01.40 AM

Mora update

Bridal veil falls

Peter Hiller, curator of the Jo Mora Trust, writes in with a few points and corrections, duly incorporated on our post about Jo Mora.  Thanks so much, Peter!

Co-worker Charles picked up a reproduction of the Salinas rodeo poster.  So many fantastic details:

rodeo 2

Jo Mora could’ve done a fantastic Where’s Waldo I bet.  (Why did they feel the need to change the American title from the original English “Where’s Wally?” I wonder?”


Jo Mora probably would’ve been good at wimmelbilderbuch of all kinds, a term I just learned from the Where’s Wally? wiki.

Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Hans Jurgen Press are regarded as the fathers of the format.


Brueghel the Elder’s Netherlandish Proverbs.  Can you spot all 112?